Deebo Samuel Fantasy Outlook & Injury Update 2022 (Don't Worry About the Trade Drama)
Deebo Samuel truly broke out in 2021, turning in a First Team All-Pro season as he shined in a dual-threat role. Samuel's ability to break off big plays as a wide receiver/running back hybrid allowed him to finish as the WR3 in PPR scoring and No. 9 scorer overall.
Samuel has voiced his displeasure with his RB usage, though, which could lead to reduced numbers in that area. He still projects to be one of the league's most productive wideouts again, so it's no surprise to see his average draft position (ADP) peg him as a clear second-round pick.
Deebo Samuel Fantasy Football Outlook
Samuel's breakout 2021 season featured explosive numbers as a wide receiver and unexpected production as a rusher. Samuel ranked fifth in the league with 1,405 receiving yards last season, and his big-play ability was demonstrated by his NFL-high 18.2 yards per reception. He did this all while taking on a part-time RB role in the second half of the year, finishing with 365 yards out of the backfield.
The San Francisco 49ers were eager to get the ball in Samuel's hands any way possible, as he saw a whopping 180 opportunities (121 targets plus 59 rushing attempts) in 2021. He certainly capitalized, scoring a combined 14 touchdowns (8 rushing, 6 receiving) in 2021.
Assuming Samuel and the 49ers finally move past this offseason's trade drama, he's set to be the clear No. 1 option in the passing game once again. San Francisco made no notable additions to the WR room, leaving Samuel as the clear top target for incoming starter Trey Lance.
Lance's transition to QB1 will be something to monitor in regards to Samuel's fantasy production. Jimmy Garoppolo clearly favored Samuel, who led the team with 121 targets in 2021, over other returning options like George Kittle (94 targets) and Brandon Aiyuk (84). It remains to be seen if the first-time starter opts to use the bigger-bodied Kittle as his safety valve.
Deebo Samuel Injury Update
Given the amount of use Samuel saw in 2021, it was no surprise he ended up with a significant injury. He missed one game last season after suffering a groin strain in Week 12. Samuel also suffered a knee injury in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, but he gutted it out to play in the NFC Championship Game.
With Samuel demanding to take less snaps as an RB, that should ease the beating his body took on a weekly basis last year.
Deebo Samuel Projections
NFL odds on FanDuel Sportsbook are projecting another big year for the star wide receiver. His receiving yards over/under sits at 1200.5, with equal -112 odds on both outcomes. That number would've placed him in the top 10 last season, and since he already ranked No. 5 while splitting time as an RB, he should have no problems surpassing that figure in a more pass-catching-focused role in 2022.
Is Deebo Samuel a Good Fantasy Football Pick?
Yes, Deebo Samuel is a great fantasy pick. He showed he's one of the best playmakers in the league last season while starring as a wide receiver and running back. Even if he steps back from his RB role, Samuel was one of the best wideouts in 2021, and there's no reason for him not to at least replicate his receiving numbers from last year.
Consider this: Samuel averaged 10.1 targets, 6.1 receptions and 110.3 yards per game over the first eight contests of 2021 while in a WR-only role. He averaged 19.2 PPR fantasy points during this stretch, not far off from the 21.2 he ended the year at overall. Samuel can absolutely star as a WR1, and he could potentially get even better in that role if he takes less hits as an RB.
If you've drafted Samuel this year, or you're a San Francisco fan, make sure to check out the best 49ers fantasy football team names for your squad.
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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.